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Microsoft has announced a selection of features designed to improve reservations on the Azure cloud platform. Six new abilities have been announced in total, focusing on giving users more control over their purchase plans.

If you are unfamiliar with Azure reservations, they allow customers to purchase plans for cloud services. For example, users can pre-pay for one year or three years and gain discounts from Azure services.

Microsoft has announced the following additions for reservations:

  • Azure Databricks pre-purchase plan
  • App Service Isolated Stamp Fee reservations
  • Ability to automatically renew reservations
  • Ability to scope reservations to resource group
  • Enhanced usage data to help with charge back, savings, and utilization
  • API to get prices and purchase reservations

Through the ability to pre-purchase Databricks commit units (DBCU) customers can save up to 37 percent on total costs. When used, deductions from DBCUs will depend on whether the customer selected Standard or Premium tiers.

More Changes

Looking at App Service Isolated stamps, Microsoft says customers can reserve them and gain a substantial 40 percent discount.

Some customers will know they are tied to Azure and want to remain for longer than the maximum 3-year reservation plan. With that in mind, Microsoft now allows customers to renew automatically. It is worth pointing out that users can opt in and out of renewals at any time, just in case circumstances change.

Azure now also supports improved reservation reporting thanks to a change to the enterprise agreement (EA). Microsoft announced the following changes to the agreement:

  • Get reservation purchase data
  • Know which subscription, resource group or resource used the reservation
  • Chargeback for reservation utilization
  • Calculate reservation savings
  • Get reservation under-utilization data
  • Amortize reservation costs

Lastly, Microsoft has also provided a new way to buy reservations. Customers can use Representational state transfer (REST) APIs, three APIs that can help users see purchase orders, calculate costs, and receive SKUs.